How to Get the Most Out of Your IEP
Tyler Feist, a ninth grader in North Dakota, tells his story about getting his IEP followed
A special greeting from the Midwest. My name is Tyler Feist; I am 14 years old and live in rural North Dakota. I am a freshman at Edgeley High School. This fall I played Varsity football and my position was flanker and line backer. I like to hunt and fish, which we do a lot of. This summer I had a job working on a farm, which was an awesome learning experience, and will work there again next summer. We have a spot out at one of the nearby lakes, so that is our place of retreat, where I also like to go tubing and skiing.
I’m writing today about how to get the most out of your IEP as a youth. My diagnosis is ADHD/Visual Perception Learning Disability. School is most difficult as it is very hard for me to concentrate. It takes every ounce of energy I have to focus sometimes. Areas of reading and written language are the most difficult. One of the hardest things for me is to be able to express myself when I am overwhelmed during the school day.
I receive assistance in school through an IEP,which is an Individual Education Plan. With certain disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a student can receive services to meet their unique needs and goals. In my case, there was a meeting to identify that I was having difficult in certain areas. It was decided at that time, to do an assessment. This assessment was done to identify my areas of difficulty.
Following the assessment, the team met, which included; me, parents, teachers, principle and others to identify how to make changes to the curriculum to meet the needs necessary for me to achieve and learn. All IEP’s will look differently, depending upon our unique needs. At first I was not thrilled about any of it. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that children with disabilities will receive a quality education, equal to kids who do not have a disability. To that I say… .Thank goodness we have this great federal law to help us reach our dreams.
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